The new policy can be used to deny green cards to immigrants over their use of public benefits including Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers, as well as other factors.
- The Week
Biden did not, in fact, remove Trump's 'Diet Coke button' from the Resolute Desk, White House clarifies
The new Biden administration has yet not disclosed the secrets of Area 51 or explained what the Air Force really knows about UFOs, but it did clarify, at least, the mystery of the vanished "Diet Coke button" former President Donald Trump would use to summon refreshments in the Oval Office. The usher button, as it is formally known, is not gone, even if it is no longer used to summon Diet Cokes, a White House official tells Politico.The White House official "unfortunately wouldn't say what Biden will use the button for," Politico's Daniel Lippman writes, suggesting Biden might summon Orange Gatorade and not the obvious answer, ice cream — or, let's get real, coffee. What's more, there are evidently two usher buttons in the Oval Office, one at the Resolute Desk and the other next to the chair by the fireplace, a former White House official told Politico, adding that Trump didn't actually use the Diet Coke button all that much because "he would usually just verbally ask the valets, who were around all day, for what he needed."In any case, it is not the placement of the button that matters, of course, but how you use it. And Biden will presumably know better than to order ice cream treats during a top-secret national security briefing.More stories from theweek.com Democrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed Chuck Schumer tried to unseat Susan Collins, and now it's personal Josh Hawley knows exactly what he's doing
- The Telegraph
Mitch McConnell, the US Senate Republican leader, said on Monday he would agree to a power-sharing agreement with Democrats, dropping demands that had held up the basic organisation and daily work of the 50-50 chamber for days. Democrat Chuck Schumer, now the majority leader thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote, and Mr McConnell had been at odds over the Republican's request that Democrats promise to protect the filibuster, which requires a 60-vote supermajority to advance most legislation. Mr Schumer has refused to guarantee the filibuster would stay. But in a statement, Mr McConnell cited comments from moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who said they would not favour eliminating the filibuster. "The legislative filibuster was a key part of the foundation beneath the Senate's last 50-50 power-sharing agreement in 2001," Mr McConnell said. "With these assurances, I look forward to moving ahead with a power-sharing agreement modeled on that precedent." A spokesman for Mr Schumer, Justin Goodman, said in a statement, "We're glad Senator McConnell threw in the towel and gave up on his ridiculous demand. We look forward to organising the Senate under Democratic control and start getting big, bold things done for the American people." Some liberal Democrats have suggested killing the filibuster to help advance President Joe Biden's agenda, though Mr Biden has not signaled support for such a move. In recent years, the 60-vote threshold has brought the Senate nearly to a halt on major legislation. With Ms Harris unable to attend every Senate session, the two party leaders have been discussing an arrangement to govern day-to-day operations, similar to one struck the last time the Senate was equally split two decades ago. Senate committees have still not been reorganised under Democratic control. Democrats could unilaterally change the rules to require only a simple majority to approve bills, a move sometimes called the "nuclear option", if all 50 members voted together and Ms Harris provided the tie-breaking vote. By declining to guarantee as part of the deal that the filibuster will be protected, Mr Schumer preserves the threat as leverage in negotiations over Mr Biden's priorities, such as a new round of coronavirus relief.
- Associated Press
A group of U.N experts has criticized Sri Lanka's requirement that those who die of COVID-19 be cremated, even it goes against a family's religious beliefs, and warned that decisions based on “discrimination and aggressive nationalism” could incite hatred and violence. The experts, who are part of the Special Procedures of the U.N Human Rights Council, said in a statement Monday that rule amounts to a human rights violation. “We deplore the implementation of such public health decisions based on discrimination, aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism amounting to persecution of Muslims and other minorities in the country,” the experts said.
President Joe Biden attended a church service in Washington's Georgetown neighborhood and stopped for bagels at a hot pink shop named "Call Your Mother" on his first Sunday in office. Biden waved at a crowd of cheering supporters near the shop, while his son Hunter waited at the takeout window before returning with a bag of bagels and some beverages. Andrew Dana, 35, one of the shop's owners, said the Bidens' visit came as a surprise.
- The Week
In an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said his caucus won't allow Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to dictate the agenda in the Democratic-led 50-50 Senate or demand an end to the legislative filibuster as a precondition for a power-sharing pact. "We've told McConnell no on the organizing resolution, and that's that. So there's no negotiations on that," Schumer said, suggesting he had a secret plan. "There are ways to deal with him."Maddow included an update when she broadcast the interview Monday night. "While we were airing that right now, and you were watching it, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell just put out a statement that he is folding on this" and willl "agree to go forward with what Sen. Schumer told him he must," she said. "Sen. Mitch McConnell has caved and Sen. Schumer has won that fight. That was quick. Let's see what else we can do."> No sooner has the portion of Rachel Maddow's interview with Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer aired than Mitch McConnell has put out a statement that he is folding, ending the stand-off. pic.twitter.com/9qR1jpKXkf> > -- Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 26, 2021McConnell said he would allow the Senate to move forward because two Democrats had reiterated their opposition to ending the filibuster, effectively taking that option off the table. Maddow asked Schumer about that, too, and he didn't answer directly."The caucus is united with the belief that I have: We must get big, strong, bold things done," Schumer said. The Democratic caucus is also "totally united" that "we will not let Mitch McConnell dictate to us what we will do and not do," and "we have tools that we can use," notably the budget reconciliation process," he added. "We will come together as a caucus and figure it out."> "We will not let Mitch McConnell dictate to us what we will do and not do." Here's Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier in his interview with Rachel Maddow, talking about the filibuster specifically, and getting things done. pic.twitter.com/xOAKWfe2Fu> > -- Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 26, 2021Schumer also suggested he is not interested in playing cat-and-mouse with McConnell's Republicans again. Watch below. > "We will not repeat that mistake." Senate Majority Leader Schumer cites Obama era lessons in prioritizing legislation over bad faith Republican 'bipartisanship.' pic.twitter.com/gpc1kBP45w> > -- Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 26, 2021More stories from theweek.com Democrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed Chuck Schumer tried to unseat Susan Collins, and now it's personal Biden did not, in fact, remove Trump's 'Diet Coke button' from the Resolute Desk, White House clarifies
- The Independent
Biden officials struggle to understand why doses have not been administered, says report, as president promises to ramp-up vaccination rate
- Associated Press
Relatives of migrants from Guatemala said Monday they believe that 13 of the 19 charred corpses found in a northern Mexico border state could be their loved ones and the country's Foreign Ministry said it was collecting DNA samples from a dozen relatives to see if there was a match with any of the bodies. If true, the killings would revive memories of the 2010 massacre of 72 migrants in the same gang-ridden state of Tamaulipas. Ramiro Coronado told The Associated Press by telephone that he had a relative among a group of 13 migrants who left the province of San Marcos and were travelling together before family members lost contact with them on Thursday.
Germany's health minister supported European Union proposals to introduce restrictions on COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday as tensions grew with AstraZeneca and Pfizer over sudden supply cuts just a month after the bloc started vaccinating citizens. The EU has proposed setting up a register of vaccine exports, amid frustration over delays in deliveries of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 shot and other supply problems.
- NBC News
Tommy Frederick Allan said he took the documents because he is a taxpayer, according to an arrest warrant.
- Yahoo News Video
A former pathologist at an Arkansas veterans’ hospital has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient that he misdiagnosed.
- The Week
President Biden's administration is hoping to "speed up" efforts to get Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during a briefing Monday said the Treasury Department is "taking steps to resume efforts" to put Tubman on the $20 bill, a plan that was originally announced under former President Barack Obama, and is "exploring ways to speed up that effort."Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin previously announced in 2019 that the planned $20 bill redesign with Tubman replacing former President Andrew Jackson on the front had been delayed until 2028. At the time, Mnuchin said he would focus on a security feature redesign."The primary reason we've looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues," Mnuchin said. "Based upon this, the $20 bill will now not come out until 2028."The original plan was for the Tubman redesign to be unveiled in time for the 19th Amendment's 100th anniversary in 2020, The New York Times notes. Former President Donald Trump dismissed the efforts to put Tubman on the $20 bill as "pure political correctness" during his 2016 campaign. In Monday's briefing, Psaki said that it's "important" for U.S. currency to "reflect the history and diversity of our country," adding that "Harriet Tubman's image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that." > NEW: White House says Treasury Dept. is "taking steps to resume efforts" to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.> > Press Sec. Psaki says the Biden admin. is "exploring ways to speed up that effort." pic.twitter.com/z7Jw5CqXP0> > -- MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 25, 2021More stories from theweek.com Democrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed Chuck Schumer tried to unseat Susan Collins, and now it's personal Biden did not, in fact, remove Trump's 'Diet Coke button' from the Resolute Desk, White House clarifies
- Associated Press
Federal law enforcement officials are examining a number of threats aimed at members of Congress as the second trial of former President Donald Trump nears, including ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. The threats, and concerns that armed protesters could return to sack the Capitol anew, have prompted the U.S. Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement to insist thousands of National Guard troops remain in Washington as the Senate moves forward with plans for Trump's trial, the official said.
Pirates who seized 15 sailors when they stormed a Turkish-crewed container ship in the Gulf of Guinea two days ago have not yet made contact with authorities, Turkey's foreign minister said on Monday. "We have not yet received word from the pirates," foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara. Turkey was in contact with officials in Gabon, where he said the Liberian-flagged container ship Mozart had docked with its remaining crew, and with authorities in neighbouring countries.
- Los Angeles Times Opinion
Gov. Newsom needs to do a better job communicating California's statewide COVID restrictions with the public, and with other state officials.
- The Independent
Newsmax said it already had enough correspondents at White House
- Associated Press
Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong and prosecutors have decided not to appeal a court ruling that convicted him for bribing South Korea’s former president for business favors, confirming a prison term of two and a half years for the country’s most influential corporate leader, according to lawyers and court officials on Monday. The deal helped strengthen Lee’s control over Samsung’s corporate empire. The bribery allegation involving Lee was a key crime in the 2016 corruption scandal that ousted Park Geun-hye from the presidency and sent her to prison.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis marched in Sanaa on Monday, heeding a call by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement to condemn the United States for labelling it a terrorist group and backing the Saudi-led military coalition that is battling it. The protesters filled a wide avenue in the Houthi-held capital, many holding banners that read: "America is the mother of terrorism". The Trump administration's designation of the group as a foreign terrorist organisation took effect on Jan. 19 but is being reviewed by the new administration of Joe Biden.
- The Week
Former President Donald Trump first met Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, at a September 2019 photo op, the newly "liberated" Fauci told The New York Times in an interview published Sunday. Until the COVID-19 pandemic hit four months later, "he barely knew who I was," Fauci said. But once he started going to the White House "very, very frequently" to advise about the pandemic, things started going wrong between him and Trump almost immediately.The first problem is that Trump would get ideas about the coronavirus and how to treat it from friends and acquaintances, and he would believe their evidence-free opinions, Fauci said. "It was always, 'A guy called me up, a friend of mine from blah, blah, blah.' That's when my anxiety started to escalate." Fauci said he felt obliged to speak the truth publicly after Trump said something false or misleading, and while he would get pushback from Trump's top aides for contradicting the president, Trump himself never confronted him or got angry.Fauci said he never really believed Trump would try to fire him, and he never considered quitting. He explained why:> Someone's got to not be afraid to speak out the truth. They would try to play down real problems and have a little happy talk about how things are okay. And I would always say, "Wait a minute, hold it folks, this is serious business." So there was a joke — a friendly joke, you know — that I was the skunk at the picnic. ... I always felt that if I did walk away, the skunk at the picnic would no longer be at the picnic. Even if I wasn't very effective in changing everybody's minds, the idea that they knew that nonsense could not be spouted without my pushing back on it, I felt was important. [Dr. Anthony Fauci to The New York Times]Read more about Fauci's experience working with Trump and his team during a once-in-a-century pandemic, including the serious death threats he and his family received, at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com Democrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed Chuck Schumer tried to unseat Susan Collins, and now it's personal Biden did not, in fact, remove Trump's 'Diet Coke button' from the Resolute Desk, White House clarifies
- The Independent
Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany spent her time as the president's mouthpiece spinning his words, attacking his enemies, and attempting to undermine the credibility of reporters who questioned his actions. Now, with her days at the White House behind her, Ms McEnany will step into a new role where she can once again use the skill set she cultivated during her time with the president; she'll be joining Fox News. Government watchdog organisation CREW obtained a financial disclosure report that showed Ms McEnany and Fox News entered into an employment agreement on 1 January.
- Associated Press
An Iranian-American has been sentenced by Iran to 10 years in prison on spying charges, despite his family alleging he never had a trial or an opportunity to defend himself. A family spokesman Tuesday confirmed the sentencing of Emad Shargi, the latest dual national to be held in Iran amid tensions with the West. Iran’s judiciary acknowledged the sentence without naming him or saying how many years in prison he'd face.